Ahhh, the joys of winter cross training. The weather turns cold, race season winds down, the group rides dwindle, even the sun disappears. You've heard the term "off-season". That magical period between Thanksgiving and Easter when your training schedule is... empty. Awesome, right? The term is little misleading though; most of us (none of us?) can afford to take the entire winter off from physical activity. If you've tried it before you know what I'm talking about! This winter I've vowed to play off-season smarter. Heather loaned me her copy of Joel Friel's The Cyclist's Training Bible and I've been working on applying some of the basic fundamentals of training. For me, this is a huge improvement over my previous training schedule which I refer to as Beer Laps (for the uninitiated, Beer Laps is a very intense schedule of walking back and forth from couch to fridge). Joel Friel says to think of winter more as a time of cross-training. I know some of you are giggling at my lightbulb moment here, but stick with me. So. CrossTraining is physical activity that isn't riding your road bike. It could be mountain biking, cross country skiing, running, weightlifting, yoga, P90x, you get the picture. It gives you the opportunity to add strength, flexibility, nurse injuries or repair muscular imbalances. It's also fun to do something different!
Now that my Beer Laps Training Program is on the back burner, I'm finding time for all kinds of fun things that I don't have time or energy for in the summer. Yoga twice a week is helping my core strength and super tight hips and hamstrings and shoulders. Weightlifting (hopefully) will add to my power on the bike. And I'm having fun helping my sister, Sammi, train for a half marathon.
TiffanyYoga.com) we jumped at it! Friday was a sweaty adventure in fluidity, over 2 hours long. Saturday morning we had a 2 hour workout on inversions, Hellooooo Headstands! We wrapped it up Saturday evening with 2 hours of very juicy myofascial release. It was a very intense experience, and by Saturday night, I was ready for a massage and bed.
Sunday it was time to get up bright and early for the annual Parkville Buffalo Run 8k. This is a run that Sammi and I had picked out a spring tune-up to run with our dad, mostly because it is a slightly longer course, and it is off-road. And hilly. It was really hilly. Over 500 feet of climbing in just over 5 miles. There is one hill that is over a half mile long, with over 200 feet of climbing. There were stairs, people! And if you weren't satisfied after climbing that hill, don't worry, you get to climb it twice. Thank goodness for those box jumps Dan has been having me do... I got second in my age group, and Dad did great too, second in his age group.
Which brings me to my lightbulb moment. I am exhausted! I did yoga and went for a run, and I am very sore and tired! The secret to this whole cross-training thing is not just about maintaining fitness, or building strength, or work on core strength or flexibility. It's about missing your bike. Please give me back my bike and my 3 hour road rides! I miss them! Is it spring yet?